Travis Biggs (2nd Quarter, 2005)

by Josh Barsch on August 20, 2010

2nd Quarter, 2005
Dale E. Fridell Scholarship Winner
Travis Biggs
University of Northern Iowa

As a college student I know all too well the struggles of maintaining good study habits while balancing a work schedule. I participate in multiple religious activities as well, and juggling all these things together can be as much of a spectacle as the real juggling acts you see in a carnival.

A Portion of Travis’ Winning Essay:

As a college student I know all too well the struggles of maintaining good study habits while balancing a work schedule. I participate in multiple religious activities as well, and juggling all these things together can be as much of a spectacle as the real juggling acts you see in a carnival.

Travis Biggs

The stresses of not knowing where the money for college is going to come from can add even more burden to an already stressed existence. That is why the Dale E. Fridell Scholarship would be such an incredible blessing to me. By helping to ease the burden of tuition expenses I will be better equipped to deal with the other stresses of college life. By helping me to balance the load, I will be more able to pursue the demanding goals that I have set for myself and for my future.

It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and I am a firm believer in that. Through writing one has the power to help a person overcome obstacles and has the power to influence people to make a difference through inspirational stories of dedication and selflessness. Words carry with them all these powers and more, and it is there that I intend to make a difference.

There are many ways that people can influence, inform or entertain but few of them are as widely under appreciated as writing. Everyday we read hundreds or thousands of words, in both our work lives and our free time, for both information and entertainment. Without that valuable source the world we know would be a far different place, one not even recognizable to us today.

All of my life my strength has been in my words. From a very young age I knew that my word was my bond; it was the only thing I had complete control over. I also realized that the way things were said or written could have a dramatic and lasting effect on the people receiving them. This perception practically demanded that I make an effort to pursue an education in English language and literature. I would spend hours and hours with my nose buried in a book or with my pen in hand, completely consumed with my desire to write.


So write I did. I have many notebooks full of my early writings, everything from fiction to poetry; from essays to novelettes. As I progressed through high school I continued to write almost continuously. Rather than dread English essays I devoured them as just another opportunity to write and learn. It amazes me that people underestimate the power that words can have, and I intend to never forget that.

Pursuing opportunities to write professionally is what still drives me today. I don’t want to simply write what people want to hear; I want to influence them. I want to make a difference through the words that I write, be they in a newspaper or in a book. There is so much more to writing than the average person sees; there is the slow process of drafting, revising, editing and finishing every work. You cannot just decide one day to write a profound work worthy of a Pulitzer Prize any more than you could decide to become a professional basketball player overnight. Writings that are meaningful and inspirational are not flukes or accidents; they are the product of both passion and diligence.

Words can hold incredible power, the power to demand change or to inspire the world’s future leaders. Where would we be today without the great writers of the past? Without the brilliant words of Thomas Jefferson, what would the Constitution of the United States of America look like today? While there may not be any more constitutions to write, there are certainly opportunities to have a positive influence on today’s society through words of inspiration, dedication and passion.

Some people view a degree as an end. Rather than view that degree (and the education and knowledge that should inherently go along with it) as a doorway to the future, it is often viewed as a simple achievement that has finally been obtained. The real truth is that my future begins when I step off that podium with my degree in hand; a future that is not about commodity but rather about a dedication to making a difference through writing.

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